The Discovery Channel announced Tuesday that The Devils Ride, a campy parody of outlaw motorcycle clubs, is officially a hit and has been renewed for a second “season.” The first season lasted six episodes and it is not clear which of the original cast members will return. They are all terrible actors.
The Discovery press release said, in part:
“Discovery announced today renewal of its hit Tuesday night series The Devils Ride for a second season. The Devils Ride goes inside the world of motorcycle clubs with the members of San Diego’s The Laffing Devils. Airing after Deadliest Catch, The Devils Ride averaged over 2 million viewers each week. Produced for Discovery by Bischoff Hervey Entertainment with Eric Bischoff and Jason Hervey serving as Executive Producers, The Devils Ride wraps up with its season finale tonight at 10 p.m. e/p as the club sees a final showdown between ex-president Gipsy and new club head Billy the Kid.
“All season long trouble as been brewing within the club’s ranks as members were forced to take sides between the warring leaders. And while power struggles persist, personal struggles tear at the club’s war vets, many of whom wrestle with post-traumatic stress.”
War vets and PTSD? So really, the producers have no shame.
From the opening credits of episode one, The Devils Ride has been insightful about three piece patch motorcycle clubs as Jersey Shore is insightful about Leonardo Da Vinci and as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Killer is insightful about the Civil War. Nevertheless, young and middle aged men tuned in each week to learn what the motorcycle club world is “really like.” For example, in episode five viewers learned that shrewd patch holders avoid gang enhancement charges by simply stripping off their cuts before punching a fool in the mouth. In earlier episodes viewers learned it is no thing to hit people in public as long as your crime is being recorded by a television crew.
This season, The Devils Ride told a simple-minded story about a San Diego motorcycle club called The Laffing Devils. The show’s scripts assert that the club is about five-years-old. The club has been around since at least 2010. It was founded by an alleged bounty hunter named Tommy Quinn whose name on the road is Gipsy – spelled like that, in the fashion of Ebonics. Numerous critics of the show have stated that Quinn is married to a San Diego cop and that as that fact became well-known in the club world the Laffing Devils were told to dump him. The Aging Rebel has been unable to verify that Quinn is either a bounty hunter or married to a cop.
LDMC patch holders like to meet in wine bars where they smoke expensive cigars while sipping expensive glasses of wine. The cigars and wine epitomize this production. Anyone who has ever had either a good glass of wine or a good cigar knows that the two flavors do not mix particularly well. Neither the cast members nor the producers seem to care. Instead, the wine, cigars, cute hats, immaculate cuts and expensive motorcycles – apparently, nobody in this club rides a Dyna – all represent what the show is really about: Conspicuous consumption. The point of this thing, after all, is to convince people to buy shit they do not need. And, the most important job of the cast members has been to model that shit like the long legged glamour girls on The Price is Right model fur hats.
The show’s first season was all about the expulsion of club founder Quinn, his replacement by a vacuous martinet named “Billy the Kid” and Quinn’s establishment of another motorcycle club called the Sinister Mob Syndicate MC as an act of revenge. It was a professional wrestling story arc. Coincidentally, the producers have backgrounds in professional wrestling.
The decision to renew the show appears to have been made almost a month ago. Since then the program and its producers, Bischoff Hervey Entertainment Television, have unabashedly chased fame. That chase has involved a contrived feud with Sons Of Anarchy show runner Kurt Sutter, optimistic press releases, the peddling of many tee shirts and hoodies and increasingly tense relations with real San Diego area motorcycle clubs.
Just before Memorial Day Discovery began selling The Devils Ride clothing. The expensive rags include a “Devils Ride Part Of The Brotherhood” tee-shirt. The shirt is intended to symbolize that the wearer has found “a brotherhood like the one you found in the military…. What do you do when you have lived life all pumped up on a level of intensity that normal life can’t match? The Devils Ride Part Of The Brotherhood T-shirt is about the answer to those questions. The Laffing Devils motorcycle club is largely full of guys who looked for answers and found them in their motorcycle club. They draw strength and security from one another. It’s all part of the brotherhood.” And viewers can share in that brotherhood by buying a shirt for $26.95 plus $6.95 for shipping and handling. Although that might be a small price to pay for instantly becoming a combat veteran and an outlaw badass.
Sutter Flame War
The public argument between the LDMC and Sutter amused the nation and promoted the show for almost a week. Sutter thought the Discovery show was exploiting his FX show so he tweeted: “watched DEVIL’S RIDE. probably get in trouble for saying this, but I’m pretty sure my SOA actors could kick the shit out of this ‘real’ MC.”
A The Devils Ride cast member then told TMZ “I am concerned that Kurt’s creative mind is stuck in make-believe land with his recent comment on Twitter. Here’s a reality check for ya Kurt…. I am sending a personal invitation to your pretty-faced Kurt Cobain look-alike star Jax (portrayed by Charlie Hunnam) to come down to San Diego and prove your point. And tell him to wear those shiny white kicks too. I hope he’s a size 11, I could use some new shoes.”
Sutter tweeted back, “the reality is that hunnam is probably the toughest fucking dude on my set. newcastle street kid. he’s the last guy I’d ever pick to fight.”
So everybody on television has demons. Everybody who plays an outlaw on television is a bad ass.
Sutter went on to tweet, “i know devil’s ride has exploited SOA and is now using me for more exposure” and “LACTATING DEVILS, fake MC is now threatening actors. wow, they are so fucking BADASS. gigiddy. TMZ you complete me.”
Then, that tempest in a teapot ended as quickly as it began. Sutter has denied any hidden interest in The Devils Ride.
Let’s Get Physical
The best known example of tensions between the Laffing Devils and members of other motorcycle clubs was a fight on May 12 between Deron Jaffe, a member of the Peckerwoods Motorcycle Club, and two patched members and one supporter of the Laffing Devils. Jaffe explains, “I was defending myself against three of them and since I’ve seen them committing felonies on television, with no backlash from the police, I felt threatened by this self-admitted outlaw motorcycle gang.” Jaffe also has stated that the two patched Laffing Devils voluntarily surrendered their cuts to him with the understanding that they would be returned to their chapter president. Jaffe was arrested on two counts of suspicion of robbery and two counts of assault and battery. And, since he is a member of a motorcycle club that does not have its own television show Jaffe was also hit with five gang enhancements. So far the case has cost him about $25,000. He is currently free on a $276,000 bond.
One obvious question is which of the Laffing Devils pressed charges against Jaffe. Which raises a second question about whether a real motorcycle club handles its own business or has the police handle their business for them. And, a third question – did the Laffing Devils avoid gang enhancement charges by voluntarily removing their cuts before they fought Jaffe?
Meanwhile, in the other reality, the reality that is not all about empty materialism, the Peckerwoods Motorcycle Club will hold a fund raising party for Jaffe on Saturday, June 23 at Lacey J’s Saloon and Grille in Santee California. The bar is at 8861 North Magnolia in Santee. The party costs $25 to attend. About his current encounter with television reality, Jaffe has said, “There is no justice. Just us.” Multiple attempts by this page to talk to any current member of the Laffing Devils, cast members of the show and employees of Bischoff Hervey Entertainment Television have been ignored so it is unclear at this time whether members of the Laffing Devils will attend the fundraiser or whether the production company plans to send a camera crew.
The Discovery Channel has repeatedly stated that the television show is about a “real” club. And, the show has tried to prove that the Laffing Devils are “real” with a couple of appearances by the very large, very real and apparently retired Hells Angel Rusty Coones.
Coones is the former President of the Orange County (California) charter of the Hells Angels. He was arrested on federal drug charges in June 1999. He was at least entrapped and he was sentenced to eight years in prison. One of his earliest and most stubborn defenders was celebrity bike builder Jesse James who was recently married to Sandra Bullock and who has some show business connections. After he got out of prison Coones made some show business connections, too.
Coones has always been a master bike builder and about a year ago he built a custom motorcycle, with a huge engine, for Kurt Sutter. Sutter filmed Coones and his business partner, Rodrigo Requejo, building the bike. “My first impression: ‘Fuck, he is big,’” Sutter told the OC Weekly. “Then I was struck by his enthusiasm and genuine love of bikes and the motorcycle subculture. Plus, he was a huge Sons fan. We became friends when he started talking about bikes.”
One episode in the first season of The Devils Ride featured Coones sending a group of Laffing Devils to repossess a bike for him in Las Vegas. Presumably, Coones was compensated for his appearance.
Coones learned to play the guitar in prison and he also began writing songs. He now plays lead guitar for a heavy metal group named Attika7. The group’s songs have been placed in episodes of the Sons of Anarchy and Coones second appearance in The Devils Ride was to play with his band in the Laffing Devils’ new club house. Producers obviously thought Coones’ appearance would lend credibility to the Laffing Devils outlaw image. For most viewers, Coones appearances probably did make the show seem more credible.
The extent to which the Laffing Devils will participate in the next season of The Devils Ride is up in the air. It is a lock that something called the Sinister Mob Syndicate MC will be prominent whenever the show returns. The SMSMC is the new “club” founded by Laffing Devils founder Tommy “Gipsy” Quinn. The plot of this year’s season has been a bogus conflict between the Laffing Devils and the Sinister Mob. And, the registration of the Sinister Mob’s trademarks hints at when the show was actually renewed and what the show is really about. Please don’t be shocked but it turns out the show is not about journalism or truth. It is about clocking dollars.
The trademark registration for “Sinister Mob Syndicate MC” was filed by Bischoff Hervey Entertainment Television, LLC of 1754 14th Street in Santa Monica on May 18, 2012. That application lists Tommy Quinn as the last listed owner of the mark. That application was withdrawn and re-filed on May 24, 2012. The most recent application does not include Quinn’s name.
According to the more recent application the word mark or logotype remains unchanged. The club logogram, the picture mark, is described as “a skull design with small symbols around it and long horns that curve down behind the skull design. The words ‘Sinister Mob’ arching over the top of the skull design. The word ‘Syndicate’ under the skull design and the letters MC to the right of the skull design.”
The application states the marks will be used to sell “Motorcycle merchandise, namely, t-shirts, sweat shirts, hooded sweat shirts, tank-tops, sleeveless shirts, hats, caps, underwear, leather jackets, leather clothing, bandannas, gloves, patches, chaps, jackets, gloves, rain suits, coats, vests, shoes, boots and belts.” Right. Sinister Mob Syndicate MC underwear.
The domain name sinistermobsyndicate.com was also registered by someone named Collin Tims of Gualala, in northern California, on May 22. Attempts to reach Tims were unsuccessful but he has no obvious connection to the television show.
There Can Be Only One!
Last night’s season finale was as tooth grindingly painful to watch as the previous five episodes. Obviously, to borrow a phrase from Clint Eastwood, the show has “too much talk, talk. Not enough bang-bang.” The actors in this show talk too much because none of them have anything interesting to say. So, none of these guys is exactly Gary Cooper.
Although, there were two semi-real moments in last night’s show. One portrayed the tension that always pops up for patch holders who are committed to both their wives and their clubs. Since motorcycle clubs are most of all a way of being a man, the logic of much of what happens in them eludes women. And last night’s show featured almost a minute of wives complaining about their husband’s commitment to their club. The second semi-true moment, added as a footnote to the episode, showed club reaction to the death of a club brother. This addendum was spray painted with phony pathos, maybe for the benefit of humanoids who don’t understand that the death of a family member is usually sad.
Everything else in the show was as blatantly scripted, blocked, acted and recorded as an episode of General Hospital, which is what the The Devils Ride really wants to be. Most of this concluding episode was about the divorce between Tommy “Gipsy” Quinn and the club he founded. There was an attempted repossession of club property that was obviously scripted and photographed in takes. New club President “Billy” tells old club President “Gipsy,” “there’s only one grey and red club in this town.” Gipsy vows not to back down. Laffing Devils openly talk about going to “war.” So a kid could write next season’s story bible.
Meanwhile, a real club member named Deron Jaffe is in a world of legal hurt because he stumbled into TV land while being what the Laffing Devils pretend to be.
But give credit where credit is due. The Devils Ride has accomplished something in six weeks that Sons of Anarchy tried and failed to accomplish for four years. And that is, make Sons of Anarchy look like Hamlet.